Simcenter 3D Solutions How to evaluate Simcenter 3D materials from Design Space Exploration addon with expression?

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Structural response depends on physical properties such as the characteristics of the material. Sometimes it's important to know the best material for a certain application Design Space Exploration cannot access the material library in Simcenter 3D and use it as a list. In this article we will see how to create a material list in the Design Space Exploration addon release 2022.1 from Simcenter 3D release 2306 thanks to expressions.


We can't use Simcenter 3D's materials library in the Design Space Exploration addon. If two materials have different Young Modulus, an expression must be created in the physical property Young Modulus on the material.
If we enforce a displacement on a structure fixed at some location, the greater the Young Modulus value is, the greater the Stress response value will be.

To serve as an example we define a beam in SOL101 which is the linear Nastran solution.
Geometrical properties:
Length = 1000 mm
Section = 100 mm x 100 mm
We fix the beam on a side and apply 10 mm displacement along Y (traction)

From fem file, create an expression called “youngmodulus” where the formula is 100000 and its unit is MPa.

Edit the material to set the newly created expression to be in the Young Modulus field.

Make sure to save your model before solving to generate your op2 file.
Open the addon Design Space Explorer 2022.1.0 as shown below.
Click on Input File and select the sim file.
After loading the .sim file we should be able to see the File tab populated as below:

Click on "Simcenter 3D Portal" tab to choose the solution to use.
From “Tagging” tab catch the input variable from the fem file and the output from the op2 file we need to check what happens when we select different materials (stress value is what we use as measure)

Start by looking in the sim file for the stress response needed to check the influence of the Young Modulus.

Follow the steps below:
Choose to tag the output.
You can rename the parameter to “Stress_YY” by using RMB.
Go to tag input variable from the sim file. Open the FEM_Expressions input to catch the expression called “youngmodulus”.

Follow the steps below:
Move to the “Study” tab to define the input variable and the kind of study.
Our study is not a parameter optimization as suggested by default, but an evaluation of specific Young Modulus stored in a list.
Select "Evaluation Only" from the "Study type" field.

Below is what you should see:

From “Variables” tab, create a new variable called “Material_list” and set is as a discrete value type.

Then create a set called “Materials” where you add 3 items. Name the items as you want.
Below is the list of material names used in this example:

Assign the set called “Materials” to the variable “Material_list”

Define the “youngmodulus” variable as type dependent and select the “Mateial_list” variable (in blue).

Define a formula for the “youngmodulus” variable as yellow then click on “Apply”.

Note that the "_result" variable returns the output value. and the programing language used is python.
Furthermore, we must also go to  Methods subtab still under “Study” tab to define the number of evaluations which is done by using RMB on the column "Design Set".

Add one Design Set then use RMB on the column "Name" to add 3 items.

Next, assign one of the three values from the discrete variable "Materials_list" to each item.
The image below shows what your setup under the Methods tab should look like. 

We can now Run the study.

From the “Design Table” container, you can see what stress value you get for each value of  Young Modulus along with the material name.

Results are consistent as expected. 


KB Article ID# KB000121965_EN_US



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